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Marvell Port Multiplier support

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I am looking to build an unraid server and am testing functionality before making a purchase.  I have an existing computer running Windows.  My plan is to convert this computer to an unraid server and run the existing Windows install as a VM.  However I have run across an issue.


I would like to configure unraid while still keeping my existing Windows install active (since it is currently a media server for the home).  To that end I bought a Mediasonic 4 bay eSATA dock with the intent to use this dock to hold the drives for the unraid array while I configure them.  Once configured and confirmed working I could then move the drives into the system proper and boot the Windows install as a VM.  My motherboard is an Asus P7H57D-V EVO with an eSATA port powered by a Marvell 88SE6111 (aka 88SE6121) chip. This chip supports the port multiplier function required by the aforementioned 4 bay dock. 


The dock works fine in Windows.  If I install multiple drives in the dock then I can see all of the drives in the Windows disk manager so this confirms that the port multiplier feature is working correctly.  However when I boot with unraid I only see one drive in the dock even if multiple drives are installed.


Is there some special configuration needed to activate port multiplier support?  This is critical for me as I need to be able to use the dock to configure unraid before moving the drives to the chassis so that I can preserve the ability to boot into Windows until everything is converted (no available SATA ports left on the motherboard that I can use for unraid hence the need for the 4 bay dock)


Can someone please assist?


Thanks in advance


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5 hours ago, johnnie.black said:

No, but port multipliers are not recommend for unRAID (and Linux), they are very likely to give you endless problems, most Marvell controllers are also not recommended.




Understood, thanks.  However given that I only have one desktop computer and need to preserve the current Windows install until I have fully configured unraid and can then run the Windows install as a VM then I was hoping this route would work.   I don't have enough drive bays/ports to contain both the current Windows install and the new unraid install hence my need to run the unraid install temporarily via the 4 bay port multiplier dock.




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On further research in this forum I discovered this link.  I did try the suggestions in that post but to no avail.  It seems that the OP's problem from that post was that no drives connected to the controller were recognized whereas I see the first drive but no others.  Not withstanding that , I think the post is onto something.  In my case, I think the wrong driver is being loaded.  I used lspci and noticed that the driver loaded for my Marvell 88se61xx chip is the IDE driver whereas I want the SATA controller driver loaded (the SATA driver would presumably be able to use the port multiplier feature).  There is another Marvell chip on my motherboard which provides two internal SATA 6G ports and the correct driver is loaded for that chip.


If there is a SATA controller driver for the Marvell 88SE61xx then how do I force it to load?




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